In our Fall collection, we hung out with the Rat Pack, paying a visit via our moodboard to some of their favorite haunts as we put together a collection that borrowed more than a little from their golden age of glamor. In a time when going out was a big event, one that called for the outfits, accessories and antics to match, the supper clubs, casinos and hotels that Sinatra and his gang chose to frequent became almost as famous as their patrons. Their bars, nightclubs and décor are now almost as iconic as the people who crossed their thresholds. Here, we round up three of the Rat Pack’s very favorite spots, a group of hotels every bit as famous, glamorous and stylish as the stars they hosted.
The Sands, Las Vegas
No place quite epitomizes the Rat Pack heyday more than the Sands Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas. Open from 1952 until 1996, it was their hangout of choice on the Strip – both as a hotel and as a casino – whilst it’s Copa Room saw everyone from Frank Sinatra to Sammy Davis JR and Nat King Cole perform as well as the recording of the main man’s live Sinatra at the Sands album. Décor wise the hotel was a beacon of mid century modern, complete with its iconic and huge roadside sign – still the stuff of legend. This season, we have referenced its design elements heavily, taking our cue from its opulent glamor in minaudiéres such as our Lady Luck, Lucky Dice and our Bacall Full Deck. Bought in the 1960’s by Howard Hughes, the Sands fell into decline in the 1970’s, and was finally torn down in 1996 to make way for the Venetian, heralding the end of an era and all it represented on the Strip. In it’s day, however, it was simply the tops.
The Beverly Hills Hotel
The Rat Pack by no means discovered the Beverly Hills hotel – the ‘Pink Palace,’ had played host to the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Fred Astaire and John Wayne as after opening in 1912 way before they came along – but in its 1950’s heyday it became known as their LA haunt. Sinatra, Bogart, Martin and the gang – including Monroe and Bacall – were often to be found in its famous bar, the Polo Lounge. Legend has it that is was there that Lauren Bacall actually coined the term Rat Pack, having discovered her husband and his crew in situ after a long drinking session. The iconic pink building was – and still is – set in a garden resplendent with exotic palms and plants. With it’s famous Martinique banana leaf wallpaper, striped sun loungers, jewel tones and swirling signage, it was a beacon of Hollywood Regency style. This season, our Lady Luck in pink steals a little from that, whilst our Perspex inlaid minaudiéres are just the sort of glamor pusses you might choose to accompany you for your own night out at the Polo Lounge.
The Fontainebleau, Miami
The iconic curved building and palm fringed pool of Miami Beach’s Fontainebleau Hotel has starred in almost as many movies as the many celebrities that have passed through its doors over the years. Opened in 1954, it quickly became Sinatra et al’s Miami HQ, it’s La Ronde nightclub a favorite destination for an evening jaunt. Sinatra visited so much so that the hotel started a special, “Cocktails and Breakfast with Frankie,” promotion when he was in town, giving guests the option of a cocktail fuelled meet and greet with the man himself of a morning. Steeped in Art Deco golden glamor, the hotel came to represent that particularly decadent, deco style approach that was de rigeur back then. With its chequerboard floors, huge chandeliers and sweeping staircases, the Fontainbleau more than reflected the most luxurious design of its era. Our geometric Fitzgerald and Merrick minaudiéres take those famous deco motifs and reimagine them for now, giving a little bit of that golden era glamour we all can always do with a sprinkling of.
1: The Sands Hotel, Las Vegas
2. KOTUR Lady Luck clutch
3: The Rat Pack, Sands Hotel, Las Vegas
4: Sands Hotel Copa Room, Vegas
5. Lucky Dice Clutch
6: Beverly Hills Hotel
7: Laura Bacall at the pool in Beverly Hills Hotel
8: Marilyn Monroe at the Beverly Hills Hotel
9: The Polo Lounge
10. The Fontainebleau, Miami
11. Interior of The Fountainebleau
12. geometric Fitzgerald Clutch
13. Frank Sinatra on the Boardwalk of the Fontainebleau
Photo Courtesy of fontainebleu.com, dorchestercollection.com, AP Photo, ralphlauren.com, Terry O’Neil 1968